Today’s post is about your absolute no list. Why a no list instead of a yes list? What is a no list?
Cheryl Richardson ( The Art of Extreme Self Care, 2009) teaches that extreme self-care requires some soul-searching, protecting your energy, your emotional well-being and honoring your values. An absolute no list serves as a daily reminder of what you no longer do, and that protects your quality of life. Take one week and watch which activities you no longer want to do or would like to give up one day. Notice the sources of frustration in your life and pay attention to how you feel in your body. Is there tightness in your jaw or neck or shoulders, butterflies in your gut or irritable moods? Use these examples to begin your list. There may be things that were ok to do in the past, but now drain you. Take time to re-evaluate. Think about things you would like to stop doing. Maybe your tired of being responsible for cooking dinner every night and you’re ready to allow your teenagers to learn a new skill.
Review your absolute no list every day for 5 minutes. Spend those minutes really using your imagination to visualize and feel as if your truly leaving these things behind. What does your body feel like without that source of stress of fear? Surely, you are worth 5 minutes a day to refuel.
Here are some examples of an absolute no list:
I no longer jump out of bed in the morning. I give myself time to start my day more serenely.
I no longer deny myself quiet time.
I no longer hire anyone who treats me with disrespect ( i.e. a healthcare provider, a lawyer, a plumber)
I no longer throw away anything that can be recycled.
I no longer rush through my work day without eating lunch and taking a break.
I no longer compromise my needs in order to keep the peace with someone.
I no longer keep clothes that will someday fit again.
This exercise may be difficult for some, but it will help you raise the standard of what you will and won’t tolerate in your life anymore. If you have trouble even creating a no list, it may mean that you’ve put your needs on the bottom of the priority list and now its time to put them on the top.
The list will tell you much about yourself. Remember to be gentle with yourself, emotions may arise such as agitation or feeling undeserving. These can be overcome and are a normal part of the process as you upgrade your life. This list may be uncomfortable and seem like you’d be acting entitled, or self-important. People who need to learn extreme self-care actually need to learn to feel more entitled. The word entitled has a negative connotation, so let’s reframe it. You’re entitled to take care of yourself, to a life that feels like you matter, to a life that reflects your values.
If you review your list and feel good about the rules you live by then its time for a celebration.